SWANSEA Meals on Wheels' first meal was cooked at the Swansea RSL in 1973 and cost just 40¢.
Next week, the volunteer-run organisation will return to the RSL to celebrate its 40th birthday.
The service, which delivers fresh hot meals to the less agile living at home, has come a long way since it was established four decades ago.
It started with only a handful of volunteers who serviced about 30 clients. Today, more than 80 people from south of Swansea bridge, including Caves Beach, Catherine Hill Bay and Nords Wharf, have their meals delivered to them by the organisation.
It is one of the only services of its kind in Lake Macquarie that delivers fresh meals.
There are about 120 volunteers who work from the kitchen in Josephson Street, Swansea, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
It has only been there for 10 years, having moved around between temporary sites before the council built the permanent commercial kitchen.
Secretary Keith Graham said the organisation was about much more than delivering meals.
"We provide social interaction for the people we deliver to, which is just as important as a meal.
"We go along and have a chat to them and make sure they're OK."
■ If you would like to volunteer, phone the kitchen on 4971 2442.